I never said I was a plumber.

11 Jan

My toilet has a weird handle: you lift it to flush, and it drops back down and points toward the floor between flushes. It’s been this way since I moved in, and it’s never struck me as particularly odd, but apparently it is.

I know this because pretty much every guest who uses my toilet somehow manages to leave the handle in the lifted position. Honestly, I’m not even sure how they do that or how much time it takes to get it to stay upright, but without fail, whenever someone disappears to the restroom, minutes after they return to the living room, I’ll hear the tell-tale sign of the toilet endlessly refilling. I’ll go drop the handle back into place, then explain the oddities of my plumbing to my visitor.

I share this because we had people over for brunch on New Year’s Day. Many of them hadn’t been to my place before, so rather than brace myself for “handle duty,” I simply took a little Post-It note on it so people would know what to do.

It worked like a charm and a dozen people used my bathroom without leaving it in the upright position. It worked so well, in fact, that I decided to just leave the note there, since on at least one occasion I returned from vacation to find the toilet running because the cat sitter didn’t know the flusher trick.

Alan, apparently, had other ideas. As I was working on my laptop the other night, he came into the living room and stood next to me with a shit-eating grin on his face. He’d cleverly moved the Post-It note to the button on his pants.

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And he accusing me of the being the 12 year old in this relationship? I don’t think so.

 

Four reasons I dislike Finter*

15 Dec

I like fall. And I like winter. I do NOT like the unnamed season between the two, which is where we are right now. I’m choosing to call it Finter. Here are my chief complaints:

  1. It feels like it’s always cold and rainy. Not cold enough for snow, but somehow cold enough to ensure your feet turn into ice cubes that require a long soak in the tub to thaw.
  2. The leaves that fell and haven’t been picked up by the city are disintegrating into massive piles of pulp. In addition to being ugly, they’re super slippery – I’ve almost wiped out WEARING SNEAKERS a half dozen times in the last week. And regardless of how well you wipe your feet, you WILL track this leaf confetti into your home.
  3. The other issue with the leaves: they’re blocking storm drains, so whenever it rains (see bullet #1: always), water backs up until it’s about 3-4 feet away from the curb, ensuring that whenever you leave the sidewalk, you WILL step into at least an inch of standing water.
  4. It’s dark out at 4pm. Tonight I was sitting here reading my Kindle in the dark and I thought, “Well, I guess I’ll brush my teeth and call it a night…” then I looked at the clock and realized it was only 5pm. It felt like midnight.

SIDE NOTE: I just went to find an image for this post and I googled “pile of leaves.” This was on the first page of image results, and honestly, Google, I think you’re kind of an asshole:

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Please, help me: what is redeeming about this non-season? Anything?

It’s like origami with clothes.

3 Dec

Look, I have no idea how to create and insert a poll on here, but if I did, it would ask the following:

  • When you encounter an inside-out shirt, do you turn it right-side out before donning it, or do you use the act of putting it on to turn it right-side out?
  • Follow-up: how would you categorize your gender identity?

I ask because I’m working on a theory, based on Alan’s look of confusion when I started to put on an inside-out shirt last week and reversed it during the act of pulling it over my head.

“Wait!” he cried. “Did you just put that shirt on inside-out?!”

I looked down at it. “No. It’s right-side out now.”

He shook his head, looking baffled. I shrugged and moved on.

But in the days since,  I’ve hatched a theory, which is this: Because most women learn to put a bra on upside down and backwards, we have hyper-developed spatial logic skills, making it easy to take a reversed piece of clothing and use the act of putting it on to set it correct.

What do you think? Am I onto something here, or was Alan just sleepy? Or am I stretching too much in my celebration of #girlpower?

Now seriously, please respond to my poll.

Also: someone actually made a how-to video, though I think most ladies will agree with me that his skill-level is pretty basic. Anyone worth her salt knows that if you lead with your arms, the effect is more magical and the head-hole follows automatically. No awkward fumbling to put the arms on later like he does. Check it out:

Something I didn’t think to be thankful for – until today.

29 Nov

There’s a quote that’s often attributed to Bob Dylan that goes something like, “Be grateful for what you don’t have that you don’t want.” I’ve always appreciated that twist on gratitude because when you think about it, we dodge a LOT of bullets in life.

This morning I was reminded of that quote shortly after Alan and I set out for a post-Thanksgiving walk. As we stepped out onto the street, the air smelled delicious, like someone was grilling a pile of hamburgers over an open flame, which is a bit odd for 10am on a Friday. I speculated that it was probably the bar down the alley behind my place, which often smokes brisket on its back patio on game days. Alan, unwilling to take my word for it (and perpetually curious), decided to investigate.

So I stood on the sidewalk, patiently waiting while he walked down the alley. I saw him approach the pub’s patio and pull himself up to the tall wooden fence, trying to look over. And then I saw him slowly moonwalk away from the fence, dragging his left foot as if he’d survived polio, until he got to a pile of leaves. Then he started wiping and stamping both feet. Clearly he’d stepped in something.

As he approached me with a grimace, I asked, “Did you step in dog poop?”

He shook his head, looking shell-shocked. “More like human poop.” He paused. “That was clearly a homeless person’s bathroom. Don’t ask me how I know.”

I nodded, shoved my hands down in my pockets, and silently gave thanks for NOT being ruled by my curiosity for once and NOT having to contemplate burning my sneakers on Black Friday. And with that, we walked away, one foot dragging with every step.

#gratitude

It’s time to NOT talk turkey!

28 Nov
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My friend Marcy texted this to me. She knows I hate the word moist.

For the first time in ages (maybe ever?), it’s just Alan and me for Thanksgiving this year, and I have to say, while I usually enjoy holidays being about family, this year it feels wonderful to just take a time out for the two of us. We’ve both had hectic falls, and between my work trip to LA and his two weeks in Michigan hunting, we barely saw each other this month.

So how do we plan to celebrate since we’re not tethered to others’ expectations? Well, for starters, we haven’t even asked ourselves the question that most people probably discussed ad nauseam yesterday: what time will we eat? Because the answer (whenever we feel hungry) doesn’t really matter when you’re only coordinating two people.

Also? We’ve totally scrapped the traditional menu. I’m not a big fan of turkey, and while I enjoy the side dishes (specifically: mashed potatoes, green beans, brussel sprouts, sweet potatoes), I make them all regularly, so they don’t feel like a special treat to get all excited about. Fortunately, Alan’s easy-going and also a bit of a foodie, so he was totally game for a menu overhaul.

Here’s what we landed on: whole roasted branzini, lemon risotto, and a shaved brussel sprout salad. I’ve never roasted a whole fish with its head on before, and Alan’s never made proper risotto from scratch, so today’s focus on food is more on experimentation than it is on eating. (Which is probably a good thing, since we might end up ordering a pizza if our experiments go sideways.)

[Ethical side note: when people say they don’t eat anything that had a mother, does fish count? To my knowledge, they just lay eggs and abandon them, so I’m including them in my guilt-free column because I’m judgmental and that’s not very maternal.]

Food aside, the other benefit of it being just US: we can stay in our pajamas all day. No dressing up and making ourselves presentable. No posing for family photos. Just us in pjs with Miss Moneypenny and a fire. And since I’m a nerd, we’ll be working on the second installment of “Hunt a Killer” (a monthly mystery box) at some point during the day, because nothing says “Happy Thanksgiving” like discussing crime and naming the criminal.

I guess in that sense – talking about criminals – our holiday won’t be that different from most Americans this year. We just won’t be arguing about it.

Happy Thanksgiving!